Have you read a wedding planning checklist yet? There are long lists of details that I could never imagine had to be present in my wedding. I don’t like stress. I don’t like unnecessary waste.… More
Wedding planning is the best thing ever for some – and the worst for others. Not every bride and groom are smitten by the idea of a big celebration with a hundred or more of people around them. Your personalities, priorities and your lust for adventure might just make it more sensible to elope as opposed to arranging a traditional wedding.
Perhaps you are a bit shy, favor independence or possibly have complicated family relations, or for any other reason -such as a sense of fun, romance, or practical or budget reasons- feel like eloping is more up your street. If you have a tendency to get stressed out, or simply cannot understand what the big “fuss” is all about – an elopement might be your answer.
It could be simple reason that you prefer to do something purely for yourselves, or something a bit different, and you might find that it suits you better to create your own wedding day layout as supposed to following a line of conventional traditions, that you might not feel any connection to, or find irrelevant or unnecessary to you.
Is elopement for you? Or are you determined to have the traditional wedding day, where you and your groom are the king and queen of the day? Which option would make your wedding dream come true?
The advantages of a traditional wedding:
- The buzz and fun of the preparations (some love a challenge of this kind!)
- It is a once-in-a-life time event (supposedly…)
- It is a big get-together where 2 families can get to know each other better and celebrate together as one family
- A chance for all your friends from all walks of life to meet and mingle
- The traditions: cake cutting, garter toss, bouquet toss, first dance etc – some brides have looked forward to this all their life
- The reception party with food, dancing, guest book, favours, centrepieces etc
- The opportunity to design and decorate your dream day with flowers, decor and colours
- Photographs with lots of family members and guests
- Significant memories for family members and friends
- The shared joy amongst all attending
- “Celebrities” for a day, being the centre of attention
- The registry – people will most likely give gifts or cash and you can wish for anything you like
The disadvantage of a traditional wedding
- The cost of renting a venue, tent, feeding people, wedding party, hair and makeup etc
- The pressure and stress involved with planning and coordinating a big event, such as guest list, invites and RSVP management
- People management – bridesmaids drama, flaring up family feuds, grumpy step-cousins who did not get invited and so on
- Nerves – not everyone is built to handle stress well
- Stage fright – not every person enjoys being in the spotlight
- Loud and “crazy” – not everyone likes dancing or being at a big party
- The more people involved, the more opinions and personalities are in the mix
- The build up to the wedding can be exhausting, especially the week before when all final details must fall into place, and out of town guests start to arrive
- The need to find good vendors and people you can rely on and trust to do a good job – you have to be comfortable with putting your fate in their hands
- It might put a lot of pressure on the bride to look great, loose weight, have perfect hair and makeup etc
- Dress, shoe and accessory hunting (not just for for bride, but bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen too) is actually pretty confusing and hard mental work, not to mention pricey
- Liaison and negotiations about costs and contracts with vendors – not everyone is cut out to be a business woman/ man
- Lots of small and big decisions to be made, which can prove overwhelming especially if your nature is anxious and indecisive
- Planning details such as seating chart, choice of music, wedding colours, even choosing the wedding party – some think these aspects shadow what the wedding truly should be about – the newly weds
- Depending on how lucky/ resilient/ multi tasking genius you and your groom are – the months of wedding planning could be a stressful nightmare. Not everyone is up for it
- It is all about you, your love and your commitment to each other
- There is nothing else in the way for the 2 of you to enjoy each others presence
- Less risk of mishaps – except missing the plane I suppose
- No paraphernalia (flower girl’s nappy needs changing, bridesmaid broke her stiletto, escort cards blew away in the wind..) to worry about
- It will most likely be a lot less expensive (unless you decide to travel far and wide with a luxury honeymoon)
- Can save the money for something long term which is perhaps more worthwhile than a few hours of party – or splash it on that luxury honeymoon
- Less people= having to rely less heavily on others
- You can be more in control of your own wedding
- Manageable size = less stress = easier to achieve
- Can be planned sooner = shorter engagement
- More spontaneous and “wild” (Las Vegas, anyone?)
- Some say it is more romantic
- Great excuse to travel to your dream destination
- You can still have the dress, the flowers, professional photos and cake, at a smaller and more cost-effective scale
- Could spend more money on your wedding dress (- hello Grace Loves Lace!)
- Can create a completely unique day, choose an unusual ceremony spot (nature, city, unconventional locations and buildings not normally used as a wedding venue)
- Can get amazing wedding photos in a wedding destination that would probably not have been possible otherwise.
Disadvantages of eloping
- If keeping it secret, you will not get much help from others, unless you still hire a wedding planner
- It foregos certain aspect of wedding preparations (dress hunting with mum and maid of honour, getting ready with the girls, or bachelorette party for example) – which you might feel like you missed out on
- Lonesome – perhaps you do want to have near and dear around you when you make the promise of a lifetime
- Possibly regretting not arranging the “big day” afterwards
- Family and friends might feel left out and get resentful
- You probably wont receive many gifts
It is basically personality and a list of preferences that should determine your choice. Remember, just because you got engaged, it does not automatically mean you are destined to have a wedding with all the traditional aspects that comes with it. Modern weddings are completely flexible events and you can plan it to suit both of you perfectly.
Do give elopement a thought if you are daunted by the prospect of arranging a traditional wedding day, or simply feel a desire to do something “different” and being adventurous with your groom. In the end of the day, you are marrying your husband and not anyone else or a tradition you are not bothered about – the most important thing is that you as a couple both are doing what feels most natural to you.
Torn? The perfect compromise: An Intimate Wedding!
Final tip: it is best to decide if you are eloping or not BEFORE you invite people to your wedding or pick a bridal party – in order to not making people disappointed 🙂
Choosing a venue is one of the first things that you need to do when planning your wedding. Picking the right venues for your ceremony and reception are invaluable to creating your perfect wedding day.
Before you start visiting your dream venues, you’ll need to know exactly what questions to ask to make sure you’re choosing the right place. Since you’re probably only going to interview venues once in your life, you might not know exactly what to ask. Luckily, we have got you covered!
The wedding ceremony site and reception venue are the cornerstones for your wedding event, so it’s important to pick a site that fits you and your grooms vision, your budget and the kind of day you would like to have. Of course going with a reputable venue is important – reliability is a big factor you need to consider.
When booking the venue for your wedding you are entering into a business agreement. While the person you are working with is not likely to be deceptive, they are in business to make a profit. Consequently, there are certain aspects you should confirm and get in writing to avoid last minute surprises. Also, when thinking about and comparing costs between different places, it’s important to understand the details so you can make a direct comparison.
Below is a long list of the things you should be checking with your wedding venue before making any decisions about where to hold your wedding. For a really comprehensive planning kit, get yourself the Sheer Wedding Planner and Budget tool. It’s got detailed worksheets for your wedding planning and budget tracker.
This list probably looks overwhelming, and I don’t recommend you sit the wedding venue coordinator down and interview them about everything all at once, but definitely read through it to help you avoid missing any important parts that you didn’t know that you need to know. You might be able to cover some of the questions yourself by reading on their website – they might have an information sheet already available.
Questions specific to the ceremony venues
- Where will the sun be positioned during the ceremony?
- Are we close to nice photo locations?
- Are there suitable spots for family/group photos?
- Does the ceremony venue supply a sound system or can they give us any advice on acoustics?
- Is there seating available for family/elderly guests?
- Is it wheelchair accessible?
- Are there restrooms?
- What sort of passing traffic can you expect to get at this venue?
If outdoors, you many not want cars and foot traffic walking nearby in the ceremony
Questions for Reception Venues
- Is it available on the day we want to get married? What days are available?
- How much does it cost to hire the venue? What exactly does it include?
Ask to see an itemized breakdown of costs. It is critical for you to clarify the agreement not only so you know the final cost, but also so you understand which extra costs could possibly fall on your shoulders.
- Are there reduced rates for winter or weekdays?
You could save as much as 40% on venue costs
- How many people can the venue accommodate?
Find out if that number includes the staff members
- Can I use my own vendors? Is there an additional charge for that?
Many locations have their own coordinators, caterers, or other professionals they want you to use for your event or included in the cost.
- Does the price include alcohol or is that extra? (See separate list of questions for alcohol further down)
Some venues will charge based on actual wine, beer, and liquor used. If this is the case, the quoted fee will not include those items.
- Are rentals included in this price? What items am I likely to have to hire in? Tables, utensils, chairs, or just décor?
Smalls like champagne coolers, table runners, napkins, candle holders and other adornments may or may not be provided. Find out what you can rent from the venue or what you need to outsource yourself – you don’t want to realize on the day that there are no table cloths!
- How many hours do we get at the venue? Is there a time limit?
- How much are additional hours?
The cost of going over on time can be substantial.
- Are there set up fees?
This could be especially important to make clear if you plan to have both your ceremony and reception at the same venue.
- When can we access the venue to decorate?
Sometimes only get access the day of the wedding – you’ll want to be getting ready then and would need to delegate to somebody else
- Do you do the set up and clean up or do I?
- What staffing/support is on hand for set up and clean up? During the wedding? Post-wedding?
- Is parking extra? Is parking free for guests?
It may or not be included in the quoted fee.
- Is it wheelchair accessible?
- How many restrooms are there?
Make sure you are happy with their appearance too! Ask if you would be allowed to decorate the restrooms, if you wish to do so.
- If there is an additional service charge – does it cover all tips?
Does the fee cover extras to staff or do they feel it is customary to tip certain additional staff?
- Is there a time limit and what’s the cost of going over?
There is often a set amount of time you can utilize the reception space
- How they will arrive at the final cost?
If you are charged per person for any piece of the reception, you will want to understand how it has been charged.
- Is there an additional cost for my other vendors (photographer, videographer, planner, and DJ/band)?
Your professionals will need to eat, so it is important to know if or how you need to count them. Should they be in the final head count or reported separately (In other words, if you can get a discount rate for the vendors)?
- Is there space for a band or DJ? Are there noise constraints?
- Is there a dance floor?
Sometimes that will affect the number of guests the place can seat, as there might be less space for tables if it is in one room
- Are there special considerations for children?
The child cost is most often less than the adult rate.
- What are payment terms, i.e. what sort of deposit is required and when is final account settled?
- What is the cancellation policy?
Questions to ask about catering
- Can I bring in my own food, other drink, and cake?
- If I do bring my own food, drink, or cake are there extra charges?
- Do they have an on-site caterer/chef or do we need to arrange our own caterer?
- Do they have an on-site kitchen? (If not, you will be limited to the types of food service available)
- Is there a range of menus?
- Will the menu be able to cater to different dietary needs (vegetarian, low-carb, gluten free etc)
- Will we need to inform the caterers in advance of dietary requirements, or can they cope with these requests on the night?
Questions to ask the reception venue about Alcohol
- Are you fully licensed?
- Do they have the brand of alcohol you favour?
- What’s the corkage fee – is it per person, per bottle or a set charge?
- What happens to half drunk bottles of wine, or left overs?
- Do I need to hire glasses or will venue arrange?
- Do I need to arrange bar staff?
- Do I need to arrange a duty manager for the bar?
- Do they allow bring your own toasting wine/ champagne?
- Do they do alcohol packages?
Are there any other questions you’d like to add to this list? Comment below with any questions we’ve missed or handy questions you asked.
From elegant botanical luxe, to neutral minimalism, eclectic bohemian or vibrantly tropical, the colour green is right on trend. Known for being refreshing, renewing, and restorative, the colour green is radiant yet calming, and brings about a lush air of the natural world. In the world of weddings, there is simply no better colour to include in your wedding theme and decor.
Suitable for any type of wedding, you can work greenery into your big day to add interesting texture and plenty of alluring prettiness. Also known as a “trans-seasonal” color, this trend is completely doable anywhere:indoors, outdoors; anytime: spring, summer, autumn or winter.
The other wonderful truth about a botanical wedding is that you can easily beautify your wedding on a budget. Being more water wise and less heavy with pesticides than cut flowers, greenery is kinder to the environment too.
Rustic meets elegance in green tablescapes, bouquets and garlands, and flows together with florals in an eye-catching harmony. Greenery is here to stay, so prepared to be inspired by the richness of this colour and diversity of the materials.
Use greenery anywhere you would use floral installations, such as a garland on your wedding arch, to decorate the aisle, as individual chair decorations, button holes, bridesmaids bouquets, centre pieces and overhead hanging installation. You can even use it as confetti and to decorate your cake.
Mix with metallic accent -you can never go wrong with rose gold- for a sense of glamour, or copper for modern industrialism. Pair with white and champagne hues for a luxurious touch. Soft pinks and peaches for a feminine and soft ambiance. Blues for a crisp and cool colour scheme.
Material wise, greenery works just as well with raw wood as it does with soft linens, glass and metals accents to marry the material and the greenery together. Together with candles and lanterns it creates a relaxing and romantic atmosphere.
Succulents, eucalyptus, ferns and tropical leaves can serve as the starting point for a celebratory wedding theme that embraces the beauty of the earth.
Airplants, artichoke, thistle and myrtle can also add a sense of playfulness as interesting elements of surprise to your wedding decorations.
For the bride, swap the bedazzled hair piece for an equally elegant hairpiece made of small succulents. Or why not wear a crown made solely out of green matter?
In the bouquet, mix foliage with different shades or green, greenish yellows and greenish blues to add dimension and vibrant hues.
There are so many different varieties of succulents that your bouquet or centrepieces could be made entirely out of this attractive and water-wise plant. Bonus: the succulent family is available all year around, and after the wedding you can simply plant them back into their pots for a permanent wedding bouquet – living memories that will last forever.
The beauty of nature is that there are so many shapes and textures on offer – just think of the range from soft lambs ears, chubby succulents, whispy leaves and plump but sharp edged aloe leaves. Be creative and don’t be afraid of trying new unexpected combinations. It is a natural resource available within easy reach, so make sure to take advantage of its abundance.
Congratulations! You are engaged and you have just started a wonderful and exciting journey of preparing for probably the biggest party and event of your life. But you will need some friends with you along the journey for emotional support, positive encouragement and a little bit of practical help too.
It may feel the most obvious to choose your best friend as your Maid of honour. Good bridesmaids candidates could be your sister, a childhood friend and your grooms sister too perhaps. But before asking them the “question”, it is fine to have a month or so after the engagement, let the high of the engagement settle and avoid letting the rush of emotions influence you to make a premature decision.
There are some important factors to consider in order to create the best Team Bride to help you get married and to share the fun with.
Commitment and time
Will they be around this year? Perhaps they have work lined up in a different country/ city. Consider how much you would want them to be around to help you with dress trials, parties and crafting. Take a look at their life situation – if they just got a new job or a baby, joined a course or any other time consuming commitment, they might not be able to help you as much as they otherwise would have.
Feet on the ground
How practically minded are they? This also depends on how practical you want them to be of course. If they are absent minded or easily get stressed but have a great taste, perhaps assign them a more suitable job such as helping you to decide on design aspects of they day, such as managing bridesmaids flower crown and shoes as opposed to keeping track of the RSVP lists.
Your Maid of honour – is she a good leader/ speaker? Is she sensible and mature? Do she stand by your side in all situations? It is traditional that she gives a speech on the day, and she would normally be assigned to keep track of the rings and being “head of” bridesmaids, as well as many other responsibilities. Ensure that she would be comfortable to manage these significant tasks before assigning her to the role.
Wait to see how enthusiastic your close friends really are about weddings – it might not be the way you think. My friend who is a divorcée turned out to be the most involved and interested in my wedding preparations even though I assumed she would not be keen at all – and now she is giving me great advise about what to expect, how not to fret about dresses, and other most useful words of wisdom.
According to ability
What roles do you want them to play? Do you want them to help you choose the dress, venue decor, wedding colours or is it enough that they plan your bridal shower and stand by your side during the ceremony? How will they be useful?
Different strokes for different bridesmaids
Think about peoples skills and personality – do they have the right attributes? Look for qualities such as being caring, attentive, “together”, being a good companion, having a good eye for details, a positive outlook, being a calming influence and so on and so forth.
Take the nature of each candidate into account. If one of them is known to be an opinionated drama-queen who loves being in the centre of attention, or your mate from varsity who can’t hold down a job and seems to have a new boyfriend every month, will possibly not be the most stable support for you, even if you have had lots of fun together and love her as a friend.
Take a honest look at what every candidates energy and ability to be a positive force is like. If they have a tendency to complain, pull out of commitments or cancel your dates, not answer the phone, talk mostly about themselves – rule them out immediately. You want your team to be able to focus on you and fill you with positivity. Reliability and accountability is a must.
Say yes to the best
If they are going to accompany you to your wedding dress appointments – make sure that they would put your interests first, as opposed to their personal opinion. Have you ever seen the show Say Yes To The Dress? Then you know what a nightmare a strongly opinionated entourage can be. Try to find out if they would put you first in this situation by taking them out for a regular shopping trip first.
What do you see you and this friends relationship to be like in 10 or 20 years time? Is she a contact you can count on to be around or is she a brand new or possibly a fleeting friend? Do you honestly see it possible for you to be friends for life? This might not matter right now, but prepare yourself by considering the future.
Keeping it simple is ok
You don’t have to choose more than 2 bridesmaids, just for the sake of it. Quality support is better than quantity. The more members of your squad, the biggest risk for disagreement and confusion – choosing outfits is a classic scenario with potential for difficulty.
With your heart
Maybe you feel fine to deviate from any of the points above,and that is totally up to you. Don’t let anything stand in the way for your personal feeling about who you wan’t to have around during this precious time. Just being aware of who they are and can offer can help to prevent any disappointment further down the line.
Choose women who mean the most to you, that you admire and feel good when you are around. You don’t need to follow conventional traditions when selecting your crew – go with your gut instinct when it comes to your final decision. Select thoughtfully, and be fine which whoever you decide on.
- Choose a bridesmaid just because you know you can ask her certain favours, or use her contact network or other resources to your advantage when planning the wedding. She will probably end up feeling abused and that will not be a good experience for either of you. Mutual respect is very important – be a fair bride just as you expect them to be fair to you.
- Make your decision too quickly. Mull over the options before making your final decision. Use the first month to figure out just how big interest your close friends take in this journey you just embarked on and what role they play in your life.
- Feel obliged to ask somebody just because she asked if she could be your bridesmaid. Be honest and explain that it was a tough decision but you have considered it carefully, or tell her that you want to think about it for a bit first.
- Choose somebody unless they are 100 % fond of your fiancé and are fully supportive of your engagement. Total agreement and encouragement is key.
You hopefully have a clearer picture of who makes the best team to support you in your wedding. After picking out the members, you can enjoy to so much fun and excitement with them. Good luck!
PS. Don’t forget to spoil your girls along the way to show your appreciation!
Daughters of Simone is a brand inspired by women from generations of non-traditionalists, independent of the idea of princess weddings in exchange for allowing brides to simply be who they are on their wedding day. The brand is doing something quite unique in the world of wedding dresses: celebrating the unorthodox and revolutionary.
The beginning of Daughters of Simone began when Brit began to questions her lack of connection to conventional wedding gowns. This notion sparked a yearning to curate a selection of untraditional yet romantic designs made from vintage fabrics.
The name comes from the French philosopher and feminist Simone De Beauvoir; a woman who spoke up for herself and did her own thing. A Daughters of Simone bride is just this way – she knows who she is and she knows what she wants.
Independence, determination and creativity are fundamental cornerstones for the brand Daughters of Simone. Their unique designs never cease to bring authenticity into bridal fashion.
The dresses are a homage to strong women – the vagabonds, the dreamers and the rebels, and Daughters of Simone have ensured their gowns reflect this sentiment to make dresses for the fierce and care-free women of the world who keep charging forward.
Featuring buttery silks, delicate lace and an array of daring silhouettes – think deeply low cut backs, sweeping boho trains and off-the shoulder designs – these dresses are equal parts poetic and powerful.
Typical weddings are known be heavy on resources and can clock up quite a few carbon emissions and materials going to waste after being used just for one day. But having the time of your life doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to the environment at the same time, without compromising on your dream day’s appearance.
Here are some tips to throwing the best party ever with the least environmental impact.
Generally speaking, the easiest way to “greenify”your wedding is to simply making it smaller. The fewer people, the less travel, materials and waste produced.
But you can of course counterbalance the wastage by adopting a minimalist approach to reduce resources used in the production of your wedding day.
Think that you are confined to a rustic theme with brown invites, vintage tea cups and home made decor? You needn’t skimp on elegance just because you go green. Keep the elegance by implementing a botanical theme, use minimalist as your main approach and buy a sophisticated dress from a eco-conscious designer such as Minna or Reformation. Off-set the carbon imprint by serving a vegan/ vegetarian menu and hosting your wedding locally. Instead of asking for gifts or giving out favours, you can ask people to donate money into a charity with an environmental cause.
Invitation environmental ingenuity
There are wonderful paperless options for your invitation – just look online and you will find numerous wedding websites and apps that are often free and easy to use both for yourself and your guests. It makes RSVPing so much easier when the guest clicks a button in their electronic invite and you instantly get an updated list of who is coming, and can keep a quick tally of the numbers and any dietary restrictions. Don’t we all prefer to do everything online these days anyway?
If you must have traditional paper invite, source recycled paper and make them as small as possible. Instead of making separate papers for Details, directions and RSVP, try to fit them on one paper, or provide a wedding website address where the guests can look up further information. You can skip the Save the dates altogether – or just make a phone call to those who live far-away who may need to make travel plans further in advance.
Instead of printing menus for everyone – save time, money and paper by writing the menu on an old window or mirror by each table instead.
For your registry – unless you really need a toaster and new crockery – consider asking your guests for a cash donation instead of something that might end up collecting dust. This way you can spend the money on something really worthwhile – and it will save a lot of paper on packaging too.
Green dress success
The fashion industry, including the bridal fashion industry, is not famous for it’s environmental consciousness. But there are ways you can be eco-clever with your bridal attire: number one is to repurpose an old dress – for example your mothers – where you use existing material and turn it into your very own dream dress. It is a wonderful way to pass down a special heirloom and it will great for both you and your mum for many more reasons than environmental.
Buying a second hand dress is equally eco-friendly. Look in local classifieds or designated preloved dresses online shops for gorgeous discounted designer dresses that need a new bride to make happy.
If you want to purchase a brand new gown, seek out designers who either has a “zero waste” policy (which means all the wastage from pattern cutting is minimized) and/ or choose a designer that creates sustainable gowns, whether it’s by hand-making the dress or supporting women in developing countries.
Certain fabrics are more eco-friendly than others. Buy fabrics that are decomposable and made of natural fibre, and for extra conciseness, make sure the fabrics are made in fair working conditions.
Ingenious brides who dont want to part with their dress, may also find ways to make use of their wedding dress after the big day is over: a baby crib cover, baby girl dress, teddy bear, a new top and skirt, lingerie, cushion cover, a scarf, lanterns – anything you can think of making something white with. You can even make a necklace!
As for most stylish weddings, less is more when it comes to decor – the less material you use, the less wasteful your wedding will be. Minimalist = environmentalist. You will save money and time too!
Make sure that your decorations have either been re-purposed already, or will be possible to re-purpose after the wedding. How about thrifting all your reception decor from charity shops or vintage shops, and handing it back to the shop they came from afterwards? I guarantee you will have the most unique wedding ever, and this is just such a great way to put a personal stamp on your decor.
For the more modern and minimalist look wedding look, paint recycled wine bottles white for elegant and classy vases.
Or how about sourcing your decorations from your local landscape? Rocks, driftwood, grasses, feathers, shells – fits like a hand in glove with a bohemian decor scheme. Combine with harvested wild flowers and you have a wedding as beautiful as Mother Nature herself.
Upcycling – another wonderful way to save on resources. Pallet wood, tin cans, jam jars, glasses and plywood can make fantastic and on-trend decorations with just a small bit of DIY that anyone could handle.
If you want a traditional decoration for your wedding, try to at least avoid using polystyrene and plastic, and recycle as much as you possible can.
Avoid balloons and send-off Chinese lanters – they are pretty but create garbage in undesirable places.
A clever way to reuse (and make some bucks) is to sell or rent out your wedding decor after the wedding – you can of course hire yours as well if you have the possibility – it save a lot of effort and hassle too.
If you are getting married in spring or summer, you should easily be able to find your wedding flowers in abundance in a nearby field.
You could minimize the flowers you use and go for a majority of greenery and foliage instead – and you get extra trend-bonus points as well. Pampas grasses are another fashionable edition to this years flower design, and add interesting texture and movement to decorations and your bouquet.
Using succulents that can be replanted after the wedding (they root easily) is a smart way of making sure nothing goes to waste. Likewise, why not use potted plants on your centrepieces instead of cut flowers? Branches can also look just as nice in a vase.
Fruit and vegetables can be used as colourful and interesting centrepieces – what you can’t use after the wedding, donate to a local food bank or give to family to enjoy.
For your confetti: use leaves, herbs or small flowers such as lavender and rosemary instead. Pretty, fragrant and no clean up required after. Make confetti holders by rolling upcycled paper into cones.
If you are going for traditional flower arrangements I have only two words: local and seasonal!
Environmentally favourable favours
Give responsibly! Edible flavours such as homemade jam, organic coffee beans honey, or plants or a bag of seeds to plant are all great ideas of eco-friendly favours for your guests that everyone will appreciate. You could even give a little tree seedling to offset the carbon emissions from all the miles people have travelled to attend your wedding.
If you can’t think of anything worthwhile to give, how about offering the money you were going to spend on favours to a charity with an environmental cause? Your guests will not be disappointed, and you will set a great example for future weddings.
Hire the attire
Just as for your dress, consider having your groom and groomsmen renting their outfits, or using something they already own. Chances are they would only wear this outfit once anyway. Matchy-matchy is no longer a must for wedding outfits – just give a guideline and let them dig out what they have. Everybody has a white shirt and grey pants; and suspenders and a funky bowtie can easily be found in a vintage shop. Then let them rent a jacket and waistcoat – it will save everybody money and time too.
For your bridesmaids – give them a budget and colour scheme and then let them buy their own. If they choose something themselves, they will pick something they will wear again and this way the fabric has not been wasted just for one use. Perhaps they already have something in their wardrobes that can be coordinated?
Head to a vintage market together as an outing and be surprised how creative you can be with the bridesmaids look.
If you must have matching evening dresses for your girls, either rent the gowns, or buy preloved (like we hope you did with your dress).
When it comes to venue: local is better
For the venue, do consider your nearby options first. Picking a destination across the ocean for 100 people to travel to – well you can imagine how many tonnes of damaging emissions that produces. A farm, an Inn or a forest outside your town is a wonderful eco-friendly and less expensive alternative. Also consider your favorite restaurant, your local library or why not a warehouse for a bit of wedding-edginess.
If your venue is far from the nearest town, consider arranging a shuttle of guests or organize car-pooling – it will mean more guests can enjoy your bar menu without driving restrictions.
When setting up the venue,make sure that somebody installs 4 different bins for collecting waste: Paper, tins, glass and other.
Eating without cheating
Look carefully at the products used to create your menu. As much as possible, make sure the chef uses seasonal ingredients and locally grown produce. If you serve fish, make sure it is sustainably fished. If you are serving meat, use it as an ingredient as supposed to the main event. Chicken and pork are less heavy on water and resources than beef and lamb.
If there are organic options, choose them as much as possible. See if the ingredients could possibly be purchased from the farmer to minimize fuel for transporting to and from grocery shops, and plastic packaging.
Ask your chef to carefully calculate the servings as to minimize food wastage. Arrange all leftovers to be stored properly and be taken to a soup kitchen the next day.
Doing DIY for your wedding is a wonderful and fun way to personalize your wedding. It might even save you some money and the environment too. But keep in mind that not all DIY projects are eco-friendly. Try to use the principle of up-cycling when choosing your projects, I e turn something already used into something new. For example: doilies into dream catchers. Glass ware from a charity shop into votives. Tin cans into vases. A pretty garland made of fabric scraps.
Pinterest is full of clever DIY ideas – but remember to use “new” materials as little as possible and rather look at what is already available.
For crafts that calls for paper – why not use pages from an unloved book? You could even make a stunning table runner this way!
When planning your honeymoon, do consider the flights you have to take in order to get there. Flying less will not only save you money , but perhaps you will find a destination off the beaten track nearer to – or in – your own country that is just as exiting. Perhaps you can book a train instead of driving a car. Romance does not have to travel far to flourish – the most important thing is you and your spouse are alone in eachothers company and can connect and enjoy this precious experience of being newly weds. After so many busy months of wedding planning, chances are that all you want to do is to take it easy for your honeymoon, so anywhere quiet and pretty is going to be as good as anywhere exotic. (Even if you are a self-confessed environmental enthusiast – do NOT consider camping though – you need the comforts this time!)
Even though my wedding is planned for early summer, I have been quite adamant that I want a longsleeve dress, even in the African heat.
Having sleeves in summer makes sense in some way though – it is a great protection from the burning sun! Also, if you haven’t done as many push-up as you intended to in the months leading up to the wedding, here you have a dress that will be forgiving on arms of any shape.
The long sleeve dresses I have tried make me feel more elegant than the strappy ones. I am not a prudish person otherwise, but covering my arms just feels more “me”. I however don’t mind at all a daring low back though or a plunging neck line – so in fact it isn’t about modesty, rather a style choice. And to stay warm for later in the evening.
For years and years we have seen a majority of wedding dresses being strapless boob-tubes (just one episode of Yes to the dress will confirm that) so it is definitely time to present just how beautiful and regal a sleeve can make you.
Kate Middleton’s famous dress might have been the beginning of the turn of trends, and we, also recently Kelly Clarkson’s country rustic wedding and many more fashion forward women in the recent past: Alison from Girls, Christina Ricci, Olivia Palermo, Nicky Hilton amongst others.
If you don’t want full sleeves but still enjoy the feeling of a covering, an illusion fabric is the perfect compromise, and here you have the option of adding appliqué or detailing in material of your choice.
An classy bride may opt for full lace sleeves, with or without illusion as the base material, beading or pearl details for extra elegance.
A wild and care free bride could add a fringed or a crochet style lace, and the 70’s vintage bride a flaring bell sleeve.
If you are going for the vintage Hollywood look, well then there is simply not other better kind of dress – just think of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburns iconic dresses.
Whether minimalist or princess gown, there is a long sleeve wedding dress out there which is waiting to be yours. Still unsure? A bridal cover/ bolero will give you the best of two worlds 😉
Let the pictures speak for themselves!
Being in the stage of wedding planning when it is time to decide on flower designs, today is the perfect day to present some of my favourite wildflower bouquets that I’ve come across so far, whether small or large, minimalist or bold.
There is something so alluring and romantic about a bouquet which is filled by an array of unusual and colourful wildflowers. Organic and ethereal, this is truly the notion to romance that any wedding day should not be without. This bouquet style goes particularly well with a bohemian, country rustic but also a modern theme, and you also have a focal point of your wedding where you can instantly show off your unique style.
Opting for a indigenous wildflower bouquet has many other advantages too: you can potentially save some bucks – especially if you chose seasonally available varieties. Being unstructured and not necessarily symmetric either, this could invite to a wedding bouquet DIY project.
Be creative and incorporate not just flowers, but how about a generous amount of greenery such as eucalyptus branches, succulents and ferns, grasses, airplants, or why not try an artichoke or two? Pairing different textures (cotton vs aloe leaves for example) will add surprising elements.
If you still want some roses and peonies – adding these will create an intriguing juxtaposition between new and traditional for your guests to marvel at, pleasing both your grandma and your own cool taste.
Proteas make for a fantastic main component with their size, striking originality and extraordinary shape, and could easily replace any other flower and steal the show entirely on its own.
Hibiscus can also be a fantastic option, especially if you are hosting a tropical themed wedding.
A perfect opportunity for a statement in other words – whether for fashion, anti fashion, or environmental contentiousness or just a sense of playfulness.
When it comes to design and shape you can literally “go wild” – and your florist is most likely going to love this opportunity to show off her creativity, and the options for producing exquisite attention to details are plentiful.
Sit back and be inspired by mother nature.
Making your own table numbers for your wedding reception is an fun and easy project that anyone with a few minutes and a printer can do.
Our wedding table number templates, with their unique succulent design and romantic font, are even more stylish (in our opinion!) than the ones you can buy, and your guests will not be able to tell that you made them yourself.
Perfect for a greenery inspired wedding (trend alert!) or any wedding featuring succulents and/ or eucalyptus, this design is sure to enhance your decor and bring the wedding theme to the tables. Match with a greenery garland across the tables and succulent centre pieces, your wedding table is instantly wedding 2017 pin-worthy.
The free, printable wedding table numbers are ready to be downloaded and printed for you. The numbers look best when printed out on thick card stock. You can mount them them on a holder or place them in a frame.
Using these free wedding table numbers are just one way to save money on your wedding.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Free table numbers from Sheer Ever After
Shopping for your wedding gown is one of the most wonderful but potentially stressful moments in your preparation for a wedding. Before hitting the wedding gown shops, it will be good for you to be aware of some crucial things, and by knowing these few tips, you should feel more confident of what you want as you begin the wedding gown search.
Know your timeline
You may notice in many wedding planning checklists that you’re supposed to purchase your wedding dress six-eight months before the wedding. This may seem like an unnecessarily early date, but know that it typically takes 16-20 weeks to create your dress, and that doesn’t include the fittings you will need before. Not only do you want to have plenty of time to find The One, but all of the people who make your dress perfect need enough time to do so.
When you begin your search, keep in mind that alterations can take one to two months. Don’t delay your wedding dress shopping!
2. Know your budget
One of the top mistakes brides make is not knowing the budget for their wedding gown before trying on dresses. Having at least a range that you are comfortable spending will help both you and your consultant when picking a dress.
Discuss your budget with your partner, with your parents, with anyone who might be involved in the purchase of your dress. Planning out your wedding budget ahead of time will help you know what you realistically know what you can afford. If someone else has offered to pay for it, ask what range they would be most comfortable with.
Don’t forget to leave room in the budget for shoes, veil, accessories and alterations.
3. Know your wedding
Before booking your bridal salon appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you’re planning, when and where. This means the season, type of venue, and your wedding theme, if you have one. Yes, you can wear whatever you want, but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking something really fancy, you may wish you went bigger and bolder.
The sleeves, skin exposure, train length and fabric could all depend on your ceremony space, wedding reception venue and the time of the year. In addition to bringing in images of dresses you like, having a mood board for your wedding décor can be a helpful tool for your consultant. If you’re getting married in a forest with rustic decor leading up to the altar, a traditional princess gown may not be the most cohesive fit.
4. Know your body
Be aware of what dress silhouette flatters your shape the most. Remember that not every style dress flatters every figure. Gowns where the bodice and skirt don’t transition smoothly can visually cut the body in unflattering ways. Likewise, thin fabrics such as silk or chiffon skim the body and tend to magnify every little detail.
5. Know your habits
Don’t buy a wedding dress too small because you want to lose weight before the wedding. Avoid that stress by buying the dress of your dreams that fits comfortably. Fit now, adjust later – a professional seamstress will be able to adjust the dress as much as 2 dress sizes down or up, if necessary.
You fiancé proposed to you as you are, and he will marry you as you are. Don’t stress too much about your weight, rather focus on sanity and wellbeing. There will be enough things to think about as it is – don’t push yourself over the limit.
6. Know your personal style
Unless you frequently don evening gowns in your every day life, it’s likely that you’re not sure what dress shape will look best on you. Instead of focusing on the silhouette you think will be most flattering, hone in on how you want to look on your wedding day. One of the most important factors here is the vibe of your wedding. It can be helpful to have a few guide words like “classic,” “boho,” “glamorous,” or “vintage” to share with your bridal consultant, who will have a better idea of the look and feel of your day. Bringing along images of gown styles and silhouettes that interest you can also be helpful.
In order to best know your style – just look at the dresses in your wardrobe. What do you feel most fabulous in? It’s a good idea to have a list of things that you love and don’t love, but be open to trying some things that might surprise you.
Although all that looks great in a magazine might be a different story in reality, many dresses can be altered to fit your vision.
7. Know your local shops and designers
One of the most helpful pieces of advice we can give is to research the stores in your area before booking your first bridal appointment. Not every store carries the same gowns or even the same designers. Different salons tend to have a slightly different style or bridal clientèle, much like any other boutique.
When you look for your dress, go with your own instinct. Don’t let your entourage mislead you with their own personal opinions. Most importantly, choose with your personal style and comfort in mind. If you feel great when you wear it, then you know this might be the one!
8. Know your options
Going to a bridal dress shop is not the only way of buying dress. You actually have plenty of options should you not find your dream dress on the well trodden path. If you find the dresses in the high street shop too ordinary, in the bridal boutique too expensive, you also have the option of buying a dress second hand via portals such as Still White or Preowned Dresses, or even your local online classifieds such as Gumtree.
Try Etsy for an unique and artisan dress, or online fashion wholesalers such as Luulla. be cautious when ordering online though – rather buy a dress that you know is a bit big and then have it adjusted locally. If I were you I’d definitely avoid the Chinese wholesalers altogether – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
You could look in vintage shops for unique wedding dresses and tailor it to suit your personal style. Likewise, ask around in your network for a family members or friends wedding dress, either buy it and have it remade or borrow and wear as it is.
Another viable option if you can’t find what you are looking for, is to find a pattern maker and seamstress that will create the dress of your dreams, where you get to choose the shape, details and fabric entirely on your own.
Some more tools (to use as a guideline only) is the fun Wedding dress style quiz to gauge what dress style might suit you, and this handy chart of what silhouette would suit your body shape:
This is a very exciting journey – best of luck!